Alan Cosgrove, producer and drummer with Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac, makes one thing very clear: Fleetwood Mac do not need Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac to keep the music alive.
“For us, it is just very humbling to be able to share in their fanbase,” Alan says. “But what it therefore means is that we have to guard the music and make sure that we get it right.”
And the good news is that that’s precisely what they do, offering what Alan calls an audio snapshot of the music, all prefaced by a video clip endorsement from Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood, no less.
“Mick opens up for us with this video saying that the music of Fleetwood Mac is in the safe hands of his very good friends.”
Right from the start, it was important to Alan that they should get approval from the man himself, whom Alan knew anyway through previous work in the business.
“What actually happened at first was the core of the band (Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac) that are still on stage now was doing a recording session where we had to record music for an advertisement for an American root beer.
“We had to sound like Heart, a band from the ’70s that were a bit Fleetwood Mac-esque.
“We recorded this advertisement, and then the producer said ‘Crikey – well, crikey wasn’t his exact word! But crikey, we sounded just like Fleetwood Mac’.
“I went off and started thinking and then starting thinking wouldn’t it be fantastic if we started playing the Fleetwood Mac back catalogue.”
“We had known Mick in another life, and when we had the idea of trying to get the show together, we wanted to get the thumbs-up from Mick otherwise we wouldn’t have done it. It was important for me to have that clearance.
“We recorded Rumours in a couple of days and then sent it off to him, and got his approval.”
They then did their first gig at the Liverpool Empire in the city in which the band is still based to this day.
As Alan says, part of the joy of offering a tribute to Fleetwood Mac is that there is no one fixed point on which to focus. You can go back to the Fleetwood Mac’s early blues days in the 1960s or look at the classic song-writing era of the 1970s when Lindsey Buckingham,
Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie were in full flow.
Either the way, the challenge is to get that pin-point accuracy, which the band knows is essential – and that way you can tap into Fleetwood Mac’s longevity.
As Alan says, right now there are two Fleetwood Mac albums in the top hundred albums, which says it all about the hold that they still have over their fans.
“We have been behind Cliff Richard and Chuck Berry and people like that as session players. We have paid our dues. We know how to play, but we also know how to pick a song apart and reproduce it.
“Once you have got it into your psyche, you have to stay faithful to it, but it came easily to us because of our experience.”
The band plays around 100 gigs a year in three approx 30-date tours, which as Alan says, is the way to keep the music fresh – especially as it then allows the band members half a year in which to pursue their own projects.
The latest tour brings them to Brighton’s Concorde on Sunday, March 23.